Text over ship/unit icon? Is it possible?

Is it possible to add name of the ship to the ship icon in selection box?
For me is very diffcult to say which unit type is which just by the look of the icon.

Is doable by some command line or mod?

For me it is a step backward in UI usability.

I’ve tried to look for solution but I could’t find anything.

Thanks in advance.

At the simplest level, you could just mod the name of the ship onto the unit icon image.


I’m pretty sure it’s not possible. The UI managing this part is partially hardcoded.

To sum it up briefly, the selection box (the one at the bottom left of the screen if I understood correctly what you’re asking) is a frame containing all the ships “buttons”, but the ship “button” in itself is just a template and the game code populate the frame with the corresponding number of ships “buttons” needed, adding the additionnal data depending of the ships in an hardcoded way.

I’ve looked into the way the “button” is constructed, and there is no mention of a ship name, only shipIcon, shipHealth (the progress bar), and shipCount are present. Even if the hardcoded part of the game is sending this information to the UI and it’s only a problem of a missing UI elements in the UI file, it would be impossible to hook this data without knowing the exact name of the UI element where the game code is sending it.

@BitVenom (Hi by the way, and welcome back here :slight_smile: ), would there be a chance that a shipName element is not present in the UI file there, but referenced anyway in the game code ? It’s unlikely I suppose ?
(It’s in the tb_multiselectpanel.lua file for reference)

I’m not an expert on this system (I pushed often to completely re-write the ‘ATI’ system - it is slow, ugly, and not all that smart)… If you look at how the UI adds text to the mouse cursor or objective markers/pings - it may be possible to add an element that shows the unit name when the TO icon is visible. I am not 100% sure, and I can’t go digging easily…

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@BitVenom Perhaps I didn’t understand his question correctly (my apologies if that’s the case), but I think @tartarok was talking about this :


Edit : ah, perhaps you were talking of a solution to overcome the UI limitation by using an ATI function ?

Edit2 : Digging done ^^
there is already a shipName in the ATI system, which is currently visible only when the mouse is over the ship.
Changing placementFlags = {"attachToMouse"}, to something more appropriate should give the possibility to always show the name, if that’s really what @tartarok wants.

No, I just misread. Doh! Indeed, I don’t think that is possible… that part of the code is quite hard-coded…

That’s what I though too, but I used the opportunity that you were lurking on the forum to ask you ^^

Thanks anyway, I hope you’ll have some great holidays :slight_smile:

As @EatThePath Siber said. Just use text in place of the model thumbnail. Or add a text overlay to the model thumbnail. You may have to use abbreviations to get some names into the small space but it would work… Actually, this is a very good idea. Since I use a small footprint I also have trouble distinguishing which ship is which when I’m in a hurry.

Yes, I didn’t even see Siber’s answer before mine !
It’s certainly possible by editing the dds files in \data\ship\icons

Thank you for answers, I’m very glad, that someone reply to me!
I not a modding type and I don’t know how to change anything in game (except maybe some ini files).
I thought there is an easier way to achive that, by some switch or tweak.
For me there is very strange, that everone prefers icons over text… they are so small, similar and not usable in my opinion!

But surely I could edit icons and add text to them as a graphic if there is a possibility to do this.

If there is some good, kind man there to tell me how to do this… :slight_smile:

Do you know how to extract the .big files?